Thread veins – or spider veins – are damaged veins and capillaries just below the skin. As you age, your skin loses collagen and becomes thinner, so when veins expand, they become visible through your skin. Prominent thread veins can be inherited, but they are often caused by long term sun exposure, pregnancy, rosacea, steroid creams, alcohol, smoking and standing for long periods. Thread veins on the face and legs can be unsightly and make you feel very self-conscious. Laser treatment can help reduce and remove thread veins, restoring your confidence.
How does the laser work?
The Nd: YAG laser beam targets the red blood vessels. The heat generated from the laser coagulates the blood inside the vessel, causing it to collapse and seal. Over the next few weeks, the vessel will disappear, and all the blood will be removed by the body's scavenging cells. The newer laser treatments allow the delivery of a precise dosage of energy to each blood vessel without injuring any nearby structures.
Is laser therapy painful?
During treatment, you may feel a slight stinging sensation as the laser fires. This can be likened to a hot elastic band hitting the skin. The laser system comes with a cooling device that will help ease any discomfort.
What preparations should I take before treatment?
There are no major preparations required before the laser treatment, but you will want to avoid sun exposure and any blood thinning medication for at least a week prior to the procedure.
As for the day of treatment, avoid all creams, lotions and moisturizers on the area that is going to be treated. Also, wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the body part(s) being treated.
Who is a candidate for laser vein treatment?
All individuals are evaluated in a consultation prior to laser therapy. Spider veins do not cause symptoms and are of cosmetic concern only. For those who have symptoms, further investigation is done to ensure that they do not have varicose veins. Laser therapy is most effective for the very small spider veins and not used to treat large varicose veins.
What are side effects of laser therapy?
The skin above the veins will have a reddish or bruised appearance. Bruising can differ in severity from person to person but usually takes 10-14 days to resolve. Slight hyperpigmentation can occur but usually disappears after a few weeks.
How many treatments are needed?
Depending on the size and number of veins, three to six treatments will be needed. The treatments are usually done 4-6 weeks apart. Those with a tendency towards vascular problems will most likely require additional treatments.
Are there any precautions after laser therapy?
After laser therapy, it is strongly recommended that you keep away from the sun. Healing can be facilitated by wearing support hose for leg thread veins. The pain is minimal and aloe vera can be applied to soothe the skin. After treatment, there is no downtime. You can resume all of your normal activities immediately after treatment.
Consultation Required? Yes, with a Doctor
Consultatiom Cost? £97-£147
Test Patch Required? Yes
Test Patch Cost? £50
Treatment Prices from £105 for face and £250 for legs.